Archive for the 'Things to do' Category

A true SUNday

What a perfect day – sunny, warm, and no work! That meant all play for us. Happy Mother’s Day too!!

We are starting to finally get some warm weather in Seattle – which is awesome. People start to perk up and some of that Seattle “nice ice” starts to meltaway (ok, that may not be true, but people certainly seem to be more happy and friendly when it’s sunny out).

Note: Click here if you don’t know what I’m referring to by Seattle nice ice. It’s an old article, but gives you a good idea of what this odd phenomenon is about.

Micah and I took advantage of the beautiful rays emitted by that shiny glowing orb in the sky – and had a picnic in the park.

micah sun

Micah’s always happiest when it’s “take your shirt off” kind of weather

We dusted off our bikes, picked up a yummy bahn mi sandwich and spring rolls, and had ourselves some good eating, reading, and lounging time. It was perfect! We are hoping for this kind of weather from here on out!

Beer 101

Micah is a certified beer maker. Well, more like – he took a class and learned all the in’s and out’s of real beer making and came home with this awesome kit.


Apparently he came home with a high-top hair cut too.

He purchased a Groupon for a beer making class and finally got around to taking it. The class was through Mountain Home Brew in Kirkland. It was a 3 hour class where the students received detailed instruction on how to correctly brew beer.

Now, you might recall that Micah has been doing a bit of home brewing via his Mr. Beer kit. And there have been some pretty tasty results from his efforts. But apparently, that’s not real beer making. And if you tell real beer makers about your Mr. Beer kit – just wait for the eye rolls.

Micah did score this pretty sweet kit – complete with a bunch of supplies and equipment that I have no idea their specific purpose. But once he finishes using up all his Mr. Beer supplies, he’ll try a bit of beer making 100% from scratch. It’ll be interesting to see if there’s really a difference in taste.

Right now, Micah is brewing up a batch of Mr. Beer Irish Stout – it should be ready just in time for St. Patrick’s Day. Did someone say…black and tans? Smile

And we’re back…sort of

Hi guys! It’s been awhile…a whole month to be exact. I didn’t post in January because well 1) I had NO time and 2) I opted that to be my 31 day challenge – I know, that’s kind of lame. But as I always say, it’s my 31 day challenge – feel free to do your own challenge with your own rules. Smile

I’ll do my best to blog more…but it’s going to be tough – mainly because of my new job. With any new job, there’s a lot to navigate – the culture, the people, the vocabulary, the work, etc. etc. I’m really liking it, but it’s no piece of cake. And I am finding myself with little time and mental energy at the end of the day.

January was an action-packed, fun-filled month. Recaps to come. But to summarize – no less in limerick form:

We were in Hawaii for 9 wonderful days
we went to the beach and soaked up some rays.

We got to spend time with Brian, Tera and my nieces
It was so fun and I miss them to pieces!!!

We ate lots of good food, including shave ice
and nearly every meal we ate included two scoops of white rice.

For two nights, we stayed in a beautiful ocean-view suite
We didn’t have to pay a thing, what an awesome treat!

We saw Zoe and Russ get married in an amazing ceremony
And partied the night away with fun friends and family.

We came home to Seattle all covered in white snow
But not quite enough – off to work we had to go Sad smile

But then more snow fell and we did not venture outside
We worked from home, snuggled, and stayed warm and dry.

Our friends hosted a murder mystery dinner, it was such a hit
We dressed in costumes, ate yummy food, and guessed whudunnit?

Micah’s birthday was filled with Japanese food and sake
We ate and drank and sang lots and lots and lots of karaoke!!!!

And the very next day, what does he want for his special birthday dinner?
Japanese food of course, that’s a no brainer.

The search continues for “our” house, but nothing so far
Oh, and last night…someone hit my car.

The month has flown by and I’m excited to see
What new things I can rhyme about for the month of February!

I’ll get around to posting pics, I promise!!

Pedal pushing

This summer Micah and I have gotten pretty good use out of our bikes.  We’ve explored our neighborhood and stumbled upon new shortcuts, food places, and trails and parks. 

As long as the weather stays nice and sunny – I’m always game for a good bike ride (and with enough prodding…Micah is too).  And since our kickball league has ended – we found ourselves with an unplanned Sunday.  Whoa.


Micah and I hopped on our bikes and headed about 5.5 miles south to the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle.  We locked up our bikes and grabbed a bite of sushi.  And then headed to Coldstone Creamery to use a Groupon – and got some delish ice cream – perfect on this sunny day.


Who do you think has the chocolate, peanut butter, oreo, fudge combo? Smile



Micah loving his ice cream.  So much – that he left some on his lip for later.

We rode back up (literally…a nice steady incline for most the way), to Greenlake, and lounged there for a bit.  We played some cards, people watched, and just enjoyed getting some sun.  It was such a great day…plus we got some good calorie-burning, pedaling in.  I’m hoping we’ll do more of this – and check out other neighborhoods without the burden of cars and parking.


Getting ready to ride at Greenlake Park.

Tera & Co: A trip to the museum

The Children’s Museum in Seattle is a FANTASTIC place to take your little ones.  There’s all sorts of activities: things to play on, crawl on, look at, touch, paint, etc. 

Warning: it gets crowded!

Hello fishy fish!


There were several slides throughout the museum…and she loved each one.


Of course, there was a huge room devoted to arts and crafts. 


In the outdoor “mountainy” section – Isabella felt right at home.


Where are we going?  Lead the way!!


The Metro bus – Isabella’s favorite thing of the whole museum.


Get outta my way! Honk! Honk!


Isabella is thinking at this moment “I’d rather be driving.”


The museum even had a small grocery store set up. It was awesome!  You could even scan the groceries.


There were TONS more rooms to check out, but we had nap times and feedings to take into account.  So we ended our time at The Children’s Museum with none other than…going down the slide! 

There’s not a ton for 5 month olds to do…but I think Olivia was generally entertained.

In a wine country…

Remember that old 80s song called “In a big country” – sung by the group Big Country?  No…hmm.  Well, that song is what’s going through my head as I write this.  P.S. It’s a great song – go YouTube immediately!

Anyways, Micah, myself – and four other friends are headin’ to wine country county….aka…Yakima!  Some do it consider this hot piece of land the “Napa Valley of Washington” (most likely coming from people who live in Yakima).  We are heading out East for two nights of camping and two days filled with wine tasting (there’s TONS of wineries out that way), u-pick fruiting (I’m hoping we can hit up peaches and cherries), and of course all the other fun stuff that goes with camping (e.g. eating, drinking, card playing, swimming, sunning, lounging – you get the idea).  Unfortunately, we still have one more day of work to get through.  Boo!!!

We did this same camping trip a few years back – and it was so much fun!

The weather is going to be HOT and sunny!  Watch out – major tan lines in progress.

Rooney to Roonaka to…Tanaka!

We are finally making the rounds to officially change my last name.  Apparently, changing it on Facebook is not “official” enough.  And I say “we” because I didn’t feel this process should be my responsibility alone.  It’s something that impacts me a great deal, and requires a good bit of effort to make happen – there’s no reason husbands can’t shoulder some of that burden.  Micah was happy to oblige.

With that said, Micah has been researching away at all the different forms to fill out, offices to visit, websites to check out, rules, regulations, etc. etc.  This has been quite helpful as this is stuff I don’t have to do! 

On Friday, we embarked on step #1.  A visit to the Social Security office to request a new card with my new last name. 


We lucked out.  The office was just a few blocks from Micah’s work.

We only had to wait five minutes or so…and then a few minutes of the employee plugging away at the computer.  Done and done!  My new card will arrive soon (which is a good thing since I can’t for the life of me find my original one) and now, according to the government…I’m a Tanaka!

Next step…the oh so fun visit to the DMV!  Seriously dreading this one…some of the offices in Seattle regularly have two to three hour wait times.  Shoot. Me. Now.

The Tanaka home brew

Micah and I are taking our first stab at brewing our own beer.  Let me clarify by saying, we are taking our first stab at brewing beer via the Mr. Beer Home Brew Kit I bought him way back for his birthday in January.  It might not involve picking your own hops, and creating the perfect IPA recipe, but it still counts. Smile

The beer kit has a number of steps, but it’s pretty straightforward and easy.  And it doesn’t take much time to make (but about 3 weeks to sit and ferment before consuming).  The flavor mixes that come with the kit make it very very easy.  Boil some water, stir in some of this and some of that, add some water, some yeast.  Shake it around…and let your mini-keg chill out.

Stir, stir, stir.

Pour, pour, pour.

Add yeast. Shirt optional.

And then let your keg veg out for a bit.

Easy right?  After one week in the keg, we’ll pour it into bottles, and then let it wait a couple more weeks.

I’ll have to provide an update to let you know how it tastes.  Who wants a sample of our Tanaka brew?!

A visit to the Wing Luke Museum

On Saturday, Micah and I, along with our friends Vann and Naomi took a trip over to the International District in Seattle to go to the Wing Luke Museum.  None of us had gone before and we took advantage of the free admission (1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month).  This museum is dedicated to the Asian Pacific American Experience – and connecting people to the “rich history, dynamic cultures and art of the Asian Pacific Americans through vivid storytelling and inspiring experiences.”

The building itself is quite stunning with amazing architecture and beautiful décor.  It really is a gem in the heart of what you typically think of dirty, grungy Chinatown/International District. 

The main purpose for our visit was it was the last day of a special exhibit at the museum focused on the experience of Asian American adoptees.  It was a small gallery filled with artwork, video, poems, etc.  Interestingly, most of the submissions were from Korean adoptees.  Naomi and I, (both being adopted from Korea when we were little), found so many of the stories and illustrative quotes found in the exhibit to be so incredibly exacting to how we feel about our own experience.  There were a couple of quotes that I  thought, “That’s me. I’ve literally said that same thing before.” 

When you are adopted, it’s something that’s basically forced into your identity – for good or for other.  It’s something that is a part of you and shapes how others view you and how you view others and the world.  I honestly haven’t had much interest in the subject for most my life, but with having made friends who are adopted (from Korea nonetheless), I was intrigued to go visit the museum.  That’s one thing about being adopted…it’s something that’s hard to really get unless you’ve been through it.

For me, what I felt I related to most was less about the idea of actually being adopted, but more about relating to the experiences the adoptees went through because of it.  For example, when people learn I’m adopted, it’s quite normal and almost always expected that they’ll ask me if  I have found my birth parents.  That’s not a question most people get asked in their lifetime, but for adoptees it’s like a script.  And when I say “no” – that’s never sufficient enough of an answer.  I then have to go in and justify that response.  It’s such a basic question – but nonetheless, a question that reinforces ideas and beliefs about being adopted.

There were several other stories that told of adoptee experiences that I just laughed at because of how accurate it reflected my thoughts and feelings.  I often have faced issues on being Korean and not wanting to be, or adjusting to how Korean I wanted or should be.  It can be quite perplexing to find that balance – and even then, it’s constantly changing (at least for me it is).

It was also really nice to have Micah go through the gallery as well.  Although he knows already all about my adoptee experience, it’s nice to just have him hear that through someone else.  Without saying the words myself, it was as if I was telling Micah, “See…I’m not the only one who feels that way.”  And similarly, as I was going through the exhibit, I was saying that same thing to myself.  Smile

There were other really interesting exhibits going on in the museum.  All tackling different areas of Asian Pacific American culture and life. 

I’d highly recommend a visit – the space is cool, there’s lots to walk through, and a cute gift shop to boot.  Plus, once you’re done, there’s an endless number of amazing restaurants and shops to eat at!

Our staycation vacation

Gosh, Memorial Day weekend feels like forever ago!!!  Micah and I opted to stay put and not travel anywhere too far.  But we still wanted to make the most of our extended weekend.  So…we headed up north and spent one night at the Tulalip Casino and Resort. 

We’ve visited there a couple of times, but never really had a need to stay overnight at the quite fancy hotel.  But the long weekend (plus upcoming crazy work travel) was a perfect opportunity for some Micah and Lisa time – and only a short drive away.

We were able to check-in early and get a head start on our little staycation.  The rooms at the resort are pretty amazing.  Soft, comfy beds and linens, modern décor, flat screen TV, and a full-body shower….so awesome.


Super large rooms with a super large bed.


The bathroom is seriously a show-stopper. 

We settled in, and actually went straight to the fitness center for a little pre-gambling workout.  And then spent some time swimming in their indoor pool and soaking in the bubbly hot tub.  Very relaxing.

The rest of the day we did a little bit of shopping at the nearby outlet mall, relaxed, read my book, and of course…did a bit of gambling.  Unfortunately, the gambling part was a quite short-lived as the blackjack tables just had it out for us.  No love there.  So we cut short our losses and got outta there.

Even though we stayed for only one night, and there isn’t too much to do there beside shop, eat, and gamble – we had a fantastic time.  It was a fun change of scenery and we took full advantage of our relax time. 

We plan to do this sort of “getaway” at least once every few months.  It doesn’t have to be far – but just do something a little bit new and spend some QT with each other (ahem, quality time).

Where in the world…

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